Imatges de pÓgina

Ere a determinate resolution, he
(I mean the bishop) did require a respite;
Wherein he might the king his lord advertise
Whether our daughter were legitimate,
Respecting this our marriage with the dowager,
Sometimes our brother's wife. This respite shook
The bosom of my conscience, enter'd me,
Yea, with a splitting power, and made to tremble
The region of my breast; which forc'd such way,
That many maz'd considerings did throng,
And press'd in with this caution. First, methought,
I stood not in the smile of heaven; who had
Commanded nature, that my lady's womb,
If not conceiv'd a male child by me, should
Do no more offices of life to't, than
The grave does to the dead : for her male issue
Or died where they were made, or shortly after
This world had air’d them: Hence I took a thought,
This was a judgment on me; that my kingdom,
Well worthy the best heir o'the world, should not
Be gladded in’t by me: Then follows, that
I weigh’d the danger which my realms stood in
By this my issue's fail; and that gave to me
Many a groaning throé. Thus hulling in
The wild sea of my conscience, I did steer
Toward this remedy, whereupon we are
Now present here together; that's to say,
I meant to rectify my conscience,—which
I then did feel full sick, and yet not well,
By all the reverend fathers of the land,
And doctors learn'd.- First, I began in private
With you, my lord of Lincoln; you remember
How under my oppression I did reek,
When I first mov'd you.

Very well, my liege.
K. Hen. I have spoke long; be pleas’d yourself to say
How far you satisfied me.

.. So please your highness, The question did at first so stagger me, Bearing a state of mighty moment in't,

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And consequence of dread,- that I committed
The daring'st counsel which I had, to doubt;
And did entreat your highness to this course,
Which you are running here.
K. Hen.

I then mov'd you,
My lord of Canterbury; and got your leave
To make this present summons:-Unsolicited
I left no reverend person in this court;
But by particular consent proceeded,
Under your bands and seals. Therefore, go on:
For no dislike i'the world against the person
Of the good queen, but the sharp thorny points
of my alleged reasons, drive this forward :
Prove but our marriage lawful, by my life,
And kingly dignity, we are contented
To wear our mortal state to come, with her,
Katharine our queen, before the primest creature
That's paragon'd o’the world.

So please your highness,
The queen being absent, 'tis a needful fitness
That we adjourn this court till further day:
Meanwhile must be an earnest motion
Made to the queen, to call back her appeal
She intends unto his holiness. [They rise to depart.
K. Hen.

I may perceive, [Aside. These cardinals trifle with me: I abhor This dilatory and tricks of Rome. My learn’d and well-beloved servant, Cranmer, Pr’ythee return! with thy approach, I know, My comfort comes along. Break up the court:

set on. [Exeunt, in manner as they entered.


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SCENE 1. Palace at BRIDEWELL. A Room in the

Queen's Apartment. The Queen, and some of her Women, at Work. Q. Kath. Take thy lute, wench: my soul grows sad

with troubles; Sing, and disperse ther, if thou canst : leave working.

Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain tops that freeze,

Bow themselves, when he did sing :
To his music, plants, and flowers,
Ever sprung; as sun, and showers,

There had been a lasting spring.
Every thing that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,

Hung their heads, and then lay by.
In sweet music is such art;
Killing care, and grief of heart,

Fall asleep, or, hearing, die.

Enter a Gentleman. Q. Kath. How now? Gent. An't please your grace, the two great cardinals Wait in the presence. ' Q. Kath.

Would they speak with me? Gent. They willd me say so, madam. Q. Kath.

Pray their graces To come near. [Exit Gent.] What can be their business With me, a poor weak woman, fallen from favour? I do not like their coming, now I think on't. They should be good men; their affairs are righteous : But all hoods make not monks.


Peace to your highness! Q. Kath. Your graces find me here part of a housewife; I would be all, against the worst may happen. What are your pleasures with me, reverend lords?

Wol. May it please you, noble madain, to withdraw Into your private chamber, we shall give you The full cause of our coming. Q. Kath.

Speak it here; There's nothing I have done yet, o’my conscience, Deserves a corner: 'Would, all other women Could speak this with as free a soul as I do! My lords, I care not (so much I am happy Above a number), if my actions Were tried by every tongue, every eye saw them, Envy and base opinion set against them, I know my life so even: If Seek me out, and that way I am wife in, Out with it boldly; Truth loves open dealing. Wol. Tanta est ergà te mentis integritas, regina

serenissima, Q. Kath. O, good my lord, no Latin; I am not such a truant since my coming, As not to know the language I have liv'd in: A strange tongue makes my cause more strange, sus

picious; Pray, speak in English: here are some will thank you,

you speak truth, for their poor mistress' sake;

your business



she has had much wrong: Lord cardinal, The willing'st sin I ever yet committed, May be absolv'd in English. Wol.

Noble lady,
I am sorry my integrity should breed
(And service to his majesty and

So deep suspicion, where all faith was meant.
We come not by the way of accusation,
To taint that honour every good tongue blesses ;
Nor to betray you any way to sorrow;
You have too much, good lady: but to know
How you stand minded in the weighty differen
Between the king and you; and to deliver,
Like free and honest men, our just opinions,
And comforts to your cause.

Most honour'd madam,
My lord of York,-out of his noble nature,
Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace;
Forgetting, like a good man, your late censure
Both of his truth and him (which was too far),—
Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
His service and his counsel.
Q. Kath.

To betray me. [Aside. My Jords, I thank you both for your good wills, Ye speak like honest men, (pray God, ye prove so!) But how to make you suddenly an answer, Io such a point of weight, so near mine honour (More near my life, I fear), with my weak wit, Ànd to such men of gravity and learning, In truth, I know not. I was set at work Among my maids; full little, God knows, looking Either for such men, or such business, For her sake that I have been (for I feel The last fit of my greatness), good your graces, Let me have time, and counsel, for my cause; Alas! I am a woman, friendless, hopeless. Wol. Madam, you wrong the king's love with these

fears; Your hopes and friends are infinite. Q. Kuth.

In Englanil


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